Whenever I'd open the front door to my short-term apartment in Bogotá, a little metallic voice would whisper, "la puerta es abierta." The door is open. A fitting message, an easy metaphor I didn't even have to come up with.
I would smile when I heard it, this little reminder of the moment I was living through. I'd think, "Wow, little voice, yes, you're right." The door is open. Over the past couple of months, I'd felt the daunting rush of many newly opened doors – new people, new opportunities, new chances. I was invigorated and disoriented by, terrified of, the new gusts of wind I was walking through.
And I've now realized that an open door, albeit promising, is a static thing by itself. What matters is what you do with it. How you react. Do you walk through? Do you stop, frozen, in the door frame? Doubtful, do you think to turn around? Do you keep your hand on the door handle, not sure where to put it next?
Because, when it comes to life's doorways, you don't really know what's to come, right? You don't know if you're walking into a party, or a fight. You don't know if the lights are on. If it's pitch black. Whether it's a furnished house, or a ramshackle shed, or a garden.
What's after the door? What's in the next room?
Are you asking yourself these questions, too?
Do you feel like you're searching for the light switch? Do you feel you've found it, flicked it on, and yet still find yourself in the fleeting white-yellow stupor before your eyes adjust? Or do you feel like you haven't found it, and that your eyes have just gotten used to the dark?
I'm speaking to myself here, but maybe I'm speaking to you too. You're between rooms right now, in a hallway that is serpentine but enticing. You're vulnerable. You feel like you did when your mother let go of you in the pool for the first time. Like you did when you were a child playing games in the yard, your arms open wide, your hands empty before another pair finds them. You are open and empty. Ready.
You are letting go of the door handle. You reach for the next one.